García-Penalvo Carlos García de Figuerola Jose A. Merlo, F. (2010), "Open knowledge management in higher education", Online Information Review, Vol. 34 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/oir.2010.26434daa.001Download as .RIS
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Open knowledge management in higher education
Article Type: Guest editorial From: Online Information Review, Volume 34, Issue 4
Digital content and online information play a prominent role in the development of modern economies and societies. These kinds of resources are of growing interest to citizens and also to the various stakeholders related to the life cycle of digital information assets (Wyman, 2003).
This living digital era has produced enormous business opportunities in these times of economic crisis, and also a wide-ranging diffusion of knowledge. This creates a great opportunity for the scientific development and improvement of all countries.
One of the most significant and efficient ways for knowledge sharing is the open access philosophy, because knowledge is absolutely indispensable for social evolution in a globalised world. Following UNESCO’s principles, one of today’s main goals is to build modern knowledge societies in which all people must be able to access the information and knowledge.
In this context the internet plays a clear and important role because it has fundamentally changed the practical and economic realities of distributing scientific knowledge. This creates new challenges for educational institutions and also for researchers and educators.
The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003) wholeheartedly promotes the open knowledge paradigm. Nowadays around 275 institutions (governments, universities, research institutions, funding agencies, foundations, libraries, museums, archives, learned societies and professional associations) have signed this Declaration. There are many obvious examples of the real impact of the Open Knowledge paradigm in higher education institutions, especially universities: MIT’s OpenCourseWare, the Open Educational Resources Commons, the Cape Town Open Education Declaration on “unlocking the promise of open educational resources” and the European Union guidelines for the distribution of research results through open repositories.
Consequently the Online Information Review special issue on Open knowledge management in higher education is devoted to the question of how higher education institutions deal or should deal with open knowledge approaches. This includes a wide spectrum of topics, but we are especially interested in current practices to manage this new paradigm that is quickly taking root in the scientific community. According to the scope of the host journal, the emphasis is on how this “open knowledge” changes or influences online information, including both transactional and transformational aspects within the higher education context.
Special issue structure
This special issue is based on the idea that open knowledge in a higher education institution is a broader field than open access. We think that open knowledge comprises open software, open content, open science and open innovation. This conceptual map is described in detail in García-Peñalvo et al.’s special issue opening paper about the challenges and facts of open knowledge.
Open software owes its deepest roots to open access; open contents are related to open access to the educative, cultural or popular contents that are published under a non restrictive license that allows copy and distribution, but also the right to modify works. Open science entails open access to scientific content, while open innovation transfers the open access principles to the enterprise production world, which is indispensable for the enhancement of university/business relationships.
Within this general framework seven papers are included in this special issue. As we said above, the first paper describes the general and reference framework.
Related to the open software dimension, Adisa et al. present an open access tool for requirements gathering in the Web 2.0 era, which has the potential to become an international forum for collecting and discussing business requirements for enterprise resource planning systems.
The open content dimension is represented by the Faraon et al. paper, related to the proposal of Alicante University (Spain) to promote the open dissemination of knowledge from an institutional strategy point of view. Alicante’s model has been used in several Spanish and Latin American universities as a successful case for open content management.
In the open science side Steffen Bernius analyses, from the viewpoint of higher education institutions, the impact of open access on the creation, retrieval and transfer of scientific knowledge. His findings indicate that open access is a positive development, making scientific literature openly accessible for anyone interested, and that it not only has the potential to improve the transfer of scientific knowledge, but also its creation and storage/retrieval. Bernius also makes some very interesting remarks about the scientific publishing market and its two aspects – non-profit and commercial – resulting in tensions that impede transformation towards a free flow of online information.
The open innovation dimension is tackled by Maha Mourad in a paper entitled “Students’ adoption of open access online education services: an exploratory study in an emerging higher education market”. He analyses the students’ adoption of open access online education services in higher education, and the perception of their attributes as a new innovation in the emerging market of Egypt, taking into account the influence of the international economic crisis.
Conversely, the two final papers are related to the management of open knowledge, taking social tagging and folksonomies as a common element. Lee and Ge analyse the personalised and social characteristics of open knowledge management based on social tagging in a Web 2.0 environment. They claim that the personal behaviour known as social tagging will help achieve the student’s social goals of creating and sharing open knowledge in higher education, through organising and accessing relevant online information resources. Then Kim et al. tackle the folksonomy problem from a semantic perspective, using a tag ontology for semantic representation of folksonomies.
The Guest Editors would like to thank the editorial staff of Online Information Review for all the kind help that they have given them in the development of this special issue. They also wish to acknowledge and thank the scientific committee that reviewed the submitted papers (only half were selected for publication). This international committee consists of Adriana Berlanga, Lex Bijlsma and Peter B. Sloep from the Open University of The Netherlands; Carlos Castaño and Gorka Palacio from the University of the Basque Country, Spain; Faraón Llorens from the University of Alicante, Spain; Nikos Manouselis from the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece; Patrick McAndrew from the the Open University, UK; José Adriano Pires from the ESTIG, Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Portugal; Eloy Rodrigues from the University of Mihno, Portugal; María José Rodríguez Conde from the University of Salamanca, Spain; Esperanza Román from the George Mason University, USA; Germán Ruipérez from the Spanish National Open University (UNED), Spain; and Cristóbal Suárez from Clay Formación Internacional, Spain. This work is supported by the Castilla y Leon Government (Spain) through the GR47 Excellence Project and by the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union through the Elvin Project (Reference 505740-2009-LLP-ES-KA2-KA2MP) and the MIH Project (502461-LLP-1-2009-1-ES-COMENIUS-CMP). This publication reflects only the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Francisco J. García-PeñalvoGRIAL Research Group, Computer Science Department, Science Education Research Institute, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
Carlos García de FiguerolaREINA Research Group, Computer Science Department, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
José A. MerloLibrary Science and Documentation Department, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
Francisco J. García-Peñalvo can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003), available at: http://oa.mpg.de/openaccess-berlin/berlindeclaration.html (accessed April 26, 2010)
Wyman, O. (2003), “White paper on digital contents in Spain 2008”, Red.es, Madrid, available at: www.ontsi.red.es/articles/detail.action?id=2662&request_locale=en (accessed April 29, 2010)